Universal Orlando Resort
August 24, 2016 10:41 AM

For Harry Potter fans, butterbeer isn’t just a taste. It’s a feeling: as welcoming as Mrs. Weasley’s kitchen, as reassuring as Hagrid’s hugs, as transporting as Floo Powder. (Who cares if the outrageously sweet flavor is about as subtle as Ron tripping on a love potion?)

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Of course, the ultimate butterbeer wellspring bubbles and foams at Universal Orlando‘s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where the shops and restaurants have been quietly expanding their repertoire of options. We’ve tried them all and present a definitive ranking, on a scale of 1-5 Winkys in honor of the butterbeer-swilling house elf. But if you can’t get to Orlando, you can always make your own!

Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

1. Hot Butterbeer
First introduced in 2014, the creamy brew comes closest to the cozy spirit of the beverage described by J.K. Rowling. (Minus the mild boozy kick hinted at in the books.) It’s now available as a seasonal beverage, which makes sense because Florida summers are approximately 2,000 degrees sweatier than Hogsmeade winters.
Rating: 5 Winkys

Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

2. Frozen Butterbeer
Okay, this variation is one that really only makes sense in sweltering climates, but no matter: It’s delicious. Slushy, refreshing and offering the highest foam-to-liquid ratio, it’s what Harry and his friends would have enjoyed on summer vacation … in the Bahamas.
Rating4 Winkys

Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

3. Butterbeer Soft-Serve Ice Cream
On Harry’s first visit to Diagon Alley in The Sorcerer’s Stone, he enjoys a large scoop of chocolate-and-raspberry (with chopped nuts) from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. The Universal outpost features tongue-tickling flavors like chocolate chili and strawberry peanut butter, but the standout offering is the butterbeer soft-serve. It’s creamy, dreamy perfection.
Rating: 4 Winkys

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Michelle Tauber
Michelle Taub

4. Butterbeer Potted Cream
Available at The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley, it’s a traditional pot de crème-style dessert, smooth and served in individual glass pots with a whipped cream dab. It’s so thick you can eat it with a fork—and it’s the perfect finish after a savory fish-and-chips meal.
Rating: 3.5 Winkys

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5. Butterbeer Fudge
Introduced earlier this year at Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop in Diagon Alley, it’s the homemade Christmas present Mrs. Weasley would have made if she weren’t so busy knitting sweaters. Be warned, though: It’s the sweetest of the bunch. (Bring a toothbrush for after!)
Rating3 Winkys

Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

6. Cold Butterbeer 
The original still goes down easy, as long as you skip the roller coasters right after!
Rating: 3 Winkys

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